The Communication Companies That Care. Some Are Crediting Subscribers Who Lost Services Due To Irene

Posted by erik devaney

When I lost power for four days following Tropical Storm Irene, it never really crossed my mind that my TV/Internet bill could be credited for the services that I was unable to receive. But that all changed when I heard about Cox Communications and what they were doing in Rhode Island…

Cox Communications recently announced that it will be crediting all Rhode Island subscribers who lost TV, Internet and/or telephone services as a result of Irene. Even though the majority of the company’s subscribers experienced interruptions in services due to power outages — and not damaged cable lines or other infrastructure issues that the company is directly responsible for — Cox Communications is still reimbursing their subscribers for the services they were unable to receive.

To access the credits, you simply need to visit, click on “send an e-mail to” and let Cox Communications know how long you were unable to receive services. As a further token of goodwill, Cox Communications has been advising subscribers without services to visit local Cox Solutions Stores so that they can watch TV, check e-mails and charge wireless phones… all for free!

The nearly unfathomable kindness of Cox Communications got me thinking, “Are other TV/Internet service providers in New England this nice?” So I got to work investigating.

Naturally, the first company I contacted was my TV/Internet provider: Comcast. Contrary to a report that appeared on the gaming news website, Kotaku, Comcast will credit customers who lost services due to Irene-related power outages. Or at least, they did credit me (that’s $10 back in the bank, thank you very much).

I have to admit that I was shocked by how simple and painless the whole process was. When I asked if I would be credited for the services that I was unable to receive due to the power outage, the Comcast representative gave me an immediate, straightforward answer: “Yes, Erik. You will be credited for that.” It was like listening to a beautiful symphony… or the cheer from the crowd when the Bruins score a game-winning, overtime goal.

However, the tune changed considerably when I got in touch with Verizon.

Posing as a FiOS subscriber, I asked a representative the same question I had asked the Comcast representative: “Will I be credited for the services that I was unable to receive due to the power outage?” Again, the answer was immediate and straightforward, albeit considerably different: “Unfortunately, no. It was not a Verizon outage,” the Verizon representative told me.

“Are you aware that other service providers in the area are crediting their customers, even though it wasn’t their outage?” I retorted.

As you may have guessed, this got me know nowhere. “I cannot speak to the policy of another provider, however, we only issue credit for an outage reported to us, from the date of the report, to the date of restoral, if it is a problem with our facilities,” was how our conversation ended.

Related posts:

  1. Broadband Services Approach Advertised Speeds
  2. Verizon Wireless to Pay $10B Dividend to Owners
  3. Obama Signs Mass. Disaster Declaration After Irene
  4. Obama Signs Conn. Disaster Declaration After Irene
  5. Coping With A Hurricane Irene Power Outage: Tips For Living Without Electricity

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Posted by erik devaney on Sep 6 2011. Filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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